The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD – Who Is Your Favorite Lyrical Poet?

I’m not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand,
We’ll walk this road together,
Through the storm,
Whatever weather- cold or warm.
Just lettin’ you know that you’re not alone.
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down this same road.
-Eminem, Not Afraid

Marhsall Mathers, whether as Slim Shady, Eminem, or Marshall himself, has always spoken to me– first it was the cartoony persona who was too hopped up on dope and smack to feel a crack when he broke his back, then the lyrical genius who rhymed the iconic batman nana nana nana nana nana nana with fix your bent antenna tune it in and then I’m gunna in Without Me, and finally the (often painfully) honest poet taking those bold enough to follow on a continual journey of self-discovery, maturation, and personal growth.

Though, he probably explains it best himself: …kids flipped when they knew I was produced by Dre/That’s all it took and they were instantly hooked right in/And they connected with me too ‘cuz I looked like them (White America, The Eminem Show).

There are many who would be turned off by my description of Eminem as a poet due to his lyrical content, but would gladly chortle when Absolon hath kissed her nether ye or espouse the beauty of Uncle Walt insisting he “dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated within me” and “drain the pent up rivers of myself”.  Is that really so much worse that Eminem urging the dance crowd, “come on everybody, get down tonight”?

Singers, songwriters, rappers, hip-hop artists are our new minstrels.  Our oral traditions are recorded and past around cyberspace and P2P sharing instead of a campfire, but the tradition is very much alive.

Sure, there are more songs and songwriter that do not fit into this mold than do, but there are more poems and stories that have been spoken, written, or recorded than history will remember.  As Chris Rock famously stated, “It is hard to defend move b**** get out the way” on an intellectual level.  There is not a lot of depth to Call Me, Maybe.  Um, perhaps you would like me to call…

At the same time, though, Imagine all the people living life in peace and tell me why are we so blind to see that the ones we hurt are you and me.

QOTD:  What song do you consider poetry?  Whose lyrics inspire you poetically?

About Jamaal

Lover of words, liver of life, director of theatre, keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts. Twitter: @JamaalAllan

9 comments on “QOTD – Who Is Your Favorite Lyrical Poet?

  1. tyson
    May 22, 2013


    • J. Gabriel Allan
      May 22, 2013

      Stirring my coffee I thought of you, Tyson.

  2. Jenn Crowder
    May 22, 2013

    Take heed, ’cause I’m a lyrical poet
    Miami’s on the scene just in case you didn’t know it

    The one and only Vanilla Ice (RM Van Winkle)

  3. Brett
    May 22, 2013

    As an eternal optimist
    I’m always making others pissed
    Celebrating life like an appreciated gift,
    Like it’s something you can miss.
    So bitch about the taxes
    That Big Brother makes you pay
    Then drive your car on public roads
    To work and back each day.
    And let’s blame the public schools when our kids
    Don’t learn to read
    But let me ask you Mom & Dad,
    When’s the last time you turned off the TV?
    -Jamaal Allan, BlackHawk Kings

    • J. Gabriel Allan
      May 23, 2013

      Pretty good memory – a few wrong lyrics, though

  4. maryef
    May 22, 2013

    Has to be John Prine.

    Blow up your tv.
    Throw away your paper.
    Go to the country.
    Build you a home.
    Plant a little garden.
    Eat a lot of peaches.
    Try and find Jesus
    on your own.
    “Spanish Pipedream”

    • J. Gabriel Allan
      May 22, 2013


  5. maryef
    May 22, 2013

    But I have to admit I also listen to Eminem quite a bit. He’s first on my Ipod in the morning and the last I listen to at night.

  6. Pingback: Eminem Not Afraid Lyrics | Songs Lyrics English & Arabic

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